Koenders writes to all leaders: Minimum criteria for credible elections have not been met


The Dutch Foreign Minister, whose country holds the EU presidency, Bert Koenders, sent a letter to all the leaders of political parties who are signatories to the Przhino Agreement, where he expressed serious concern about the situation in Macedonia and urgently requires a solution to solve the political crisis through the full implementation of the Agreement.

“As the Presidency of the Council of the European Union and a long-term supporter of your country, I am writing to you and the other signatories of the Przhino Agreement to express my serious concern about the political situation that has arisen. The international community remains firmly committed to assisting the parties involved. But full and unconditional implementation of the Agreement to which you have jointly subscribed and of the Urgent Reform Priorities is fundamental to your country’s Euro-Atlantic future.There are no shortcuts in this regard. It is, therefore, vital for the stability of your country and prosperity of your citizens that you and your fellow political leaders find a way out of the current crisis”, wrote the Dutch Foreign Minister.

In the letter, it states that he fully supports the statement by EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn that the breakdown of the Przhino Agreement will have serious consequences, and for Macedonia’s EU accession.of the Przhino Agreement will have serious consequences, and for Macedonia’s EU accession.

The Dutch Minister went on to say that political leaders are responsible for dealing with the current crisis and added that there are two elements that must be immediately addressed.

“First, the minimum criteria for credible elections as identified by the EU and the US in the January/February letters have not been met: 1) Cleaning of the voters’ list; 2)media reforms to ensure balance; and 3) separation of party and state, and ending the intimidation of voters. Free, fair and inclusive elections are crucial for the Przhino Agreement and indispensable to the democratic future of your country. These criteria should, therefore, be met without further delay.
Second, the President’s decision to pardon those convicted or under investigation in connection with the revelations in the intercepted communications, in particular, those politicians currently being investigated by the Special Prosecutor’s Office (SPO), needs to be reserved immediately. Allowing the Special Prosecutor’s Office to fulfil its task without impediments is a vital part of the Przhino Agreement and essential to resolving the political crisis and restoring citizens’ trust.” Koenders writes in his letter.

He also calls upon“all parties to work towards a revocation of this decision, as the prosecution of alleged offences and crimes is a basic principle of accountability and an intrinsic part of the rule of law”.

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